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i bumped into these images just now.
wow. from 2006.
i am struck both by how i am the same
and how i am different.

the gift of time
and life passing
has shifted me,
afforded me
a certain space
that was not there
in 2006.

when i hear blips about my nephew’s life, i feel the greatest empathy.
i think it is the side of me in that 2nd pic that dearly empathizes.

i want to help and i am not sure how.
it is not my place to take him under my wing.
he is under his parents’ wings
& his parents love him
(as mine did)
they are doing their best for him
(as mine did).

with the passage of time
at some point
perhaps earlier, with his parents’ blessings,
there will be exposure
eventually
to other people
who approach life
who live
in other ways,
kindred spirits
who honor
who he is
and what he brings
into the world
perfectly
exactly as he is.

under cover of marriage
and motherhood
i have a certain space now
from the loving
and parenting
i grew up with.

the second i got married
my dad stepped back.
he told my mom:
‘you have to step back too.’
it was a tangible stepping back.
and
after all those years
of kicking & screaming
for ‘freedom’
i wept
at the releasing
of those cords
which had been there
always
and ever more
with steadiness
my whole life.

in chinese culture
the male
is the head
of the
household

& my dad told me
(i can’t remember the exact animals but the metaphor goes something like this):
when a chicken
marries into a a pig family
she drops her chicken ways
and adopts pig ways.

and SO
my parents
will be hard pressed
to speak against
the homeschooling/unschooling
‘my husband’
is standing for.
they are disturbed, probably,
worried,
and if it were just me standing for that path
they would
most definitely
speak up.

but they sure as hell
won’t
disturb my marriage & family
which equals
for a woman
the main ticket
to ‘happiness’.

my dad
spent hours
much patience
much blood sweat and tears
funding me
teaching me
trying to help me
succeed
as only he knew how.
as a parent now
i am
blown away by
grateful for
his efforts
& love.

none of the ways he knew, though
painfully
were in my cards.

now
with the passage of time
and some space
i get to
as i expect my nephew eventually will
find my peeps
and
find my way
perfectly
exactly as i am.

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